|Welcome to Children's Book Author and Illustrator Nina Laden's NEW website! Please explore it all and make yourself at home.
Yes, I finally have a new update. I must admit this has probably been one of the most difficult years of my life. My husbands health had been deteriorating. Finally in November of 2007 we had a diagnosis: Celiac Disease- allergy to wheat and gluten. Thanks to the miraculous help from my friend, and fellow writer, Shauna James Ahern aka- GLUTEN FREE GIRL I re-learned how to cook and bake without wheat and gluten, and have brought Booth back to good health. Sadly, crusty bread, flaky croissants, pizza, beer, and too many things to list have been banned from our house. But Ive discovered incredible alternative grains, and I actually feel better eating gluten-free even though Im not allergic.
And what does this have to do with Childrens Books, you might ask? A lot. I have worked and focused on picture books, writing, and illustrating for most of my life. But sometimes life throws you a curve ball. I had to step off the plate to swing at it. My journals are filled with ideas for many, many new books, but they had to sit tight. There were other things that were pressing. Ive worried that I wont have a hit, or a home run again... But just like the state of the economy, Im going to take the long view.
I couldnt focus on fiction with all the friction in my life, however I did create a new, innovative cloth book for babies and young children called, BUTTON NOSE. (More about that below!) Now, things have calmed down a bit on the home front and my journal is at my side, ready for me to focus on my stories and books again. Im not sure which one will be the next one published, but do stay tuned.
In the meantime, I hope you, and the little ones you know will be delighted by BUTTON NOSE.
...and thanks for supporting my other books!
And now for something completely original! I had never done a cloth book before, and neither had my publisher, Chronicle Books. We are both excited to have given birth to BUTTON NOSE. I created Button Nose because I thought there needed to be a book to help teach kids how to get dressed in a fun and inventive way. They can BUTTON the nose of a dog and pig. They will ZIPPER the teeth of a crocodile, LOOP the shoelace ears of a bunny, and SNAP the head of a snapping turtle. (and VELCRO the TAIL end.) When I was a child, I had a book called, Dressy Bessie. It was a girl in clothing that you buttoned, laced and zipped. It worked, but to me, it was uninspired and sexist. (Ive always preferred pants to dresses- Bessie had a dress.) So BUTTON NOSE came to me as a way to make dressing fun and universally appealing. I hope you will agree, and will share it with families, friends, and kids you love.
Other book news: WHEN PIGASSO MET MOOTISSE recently came out in Danish, in Denmark. The title there is: Picasso og Mutisse. (If you are interested, the Spanish title is: El dia que Pigasso conoció a Muutisse. The French title is: Meuhtisse et Pichochon. Youll notice that they put Matisses name first because he is French. And, Im sorry, but I cant type the Korean title.)
For those of you who don't know, getting movies made is like wishing on a star (or many stars). You just never know when or if your dream will come true. So the news may change and then may change again. Here it is at this cosmic moment:
THE NIGHT I FOLLOWED THE DOG I wrote a first draft screenplay to adapt my book for feature film, and after a year and a half away from it due to my situation (read NEWS above) Im ready to fire up my pens and keyboard and start the second draft. Happily, there is still a lot of interest in my book and I hope that I will be able to set this up at a studio home soon.
After two years, DreamWorks Animation decided not to renew the option on my book in progress, THE GRUDGES. The rights have come back to me, and that book is in my line-up, hoping to come up to bat sometime in the near future.
ROMEOW & DROOLIET had been optioned by New Line Cinema. They had approved and greenlit the script. Then Warner Brothers bought New Line Cinema earlier this year. They did not want to make the film because they are already doing Cats & Dogs 2. So it goes in the film biz. We are hoping that Romeow will find a new studio home soon.
As they say, the show must go on. I will continue to work on new ideas and seek out new ways to collaborate and present them in all sorts of media. Ill try to stay centered, on the gluten-free Zen path, so keep in touch and Ill keep you informed! Thanks for reading...